The Wacom Intuos Pro digital graphic drawing tablet comes from a long standing maker of tablets for those who wish to scribble or use a pen as a computer controller instead of the usual mouse. Over the years there have been many models produced by the company, with the Intuos Pro being a top-line version.
A tablet has many advantages over a regular mouse for precise editing work such as lots of pressure levels to replicate the touch of a pen or brush, hot keys, and it’s just more natural feeling with a bit of practice. Personally, I’m a left-hander who uses a right-handed mouse (I know, weird), but that means I can have a tablet on my left side and a mouse on the right and can use either at a moments notice, depending on the task. This is the exception rather than the norm, but it gives an idea of how having another input device can speed up your workflow.
The Wacom Intuos Pro medium-sized tablet (PTH660) is being reviewed here, which should be large enough to cover most editing jobs. I’ve found anything smaller than an A4 sized tablet is just OK for sporadic editing, but if you work with one on a daily basis, you simply need a large surface area.
Wacom Intuos Pro Design & Features
The unit itself is 338 x 219 x 8mm and weighs only 0.7kg. Heavy enough to feel substantial, while light enough to be easily maneuverable. The pen itself has 8192 pressure levels which should be enough for the most sensitive of touches, and there are eight Customizable ExpressKeys on the Wacom Intuos Pro tablet itself. As far as connectivity goes there are USB and built-in Bluetooth, depending on if you want to be hardwired to a computer or not.
The pen is a generous size with two buttons to act like left and right mouse buttons with the choice of either standard or felt nib tips for different feels. It also has a weighted holder or base to save the pen rolling around your desk. The other side of the pen can also act as an eraser, but in reality, it’s just as quick to select the Eraser tool.
This updated pen is slimmer and just a bit lighter than the previous version, while the touch ring and power switch are easily located. Everything feels well thought out and functional.
How To Use the Wacom Intuos Pro
If you’re used to using a computer mouse, especially for many years, it will feel initially strange getting used to a pen-like device. One of the first hurdles is that you’ll be looking at a screen while moving the pen. We have trained our brains since day one to look directly at the medium we are drawing upon. With a little practice, moving the pen while looking at the screen becomes intuitive as are pen-like actions.
Basically, everything becomes more precise with tasks such as retouching an image. The drawing and the eraser sides are both very precise and with the different pressure levels, you press hard on the tablet and a brush mark is more pronounced, while a lighter touch provides less of a mark. Sensitivity can be tweaked to suit the way you draw or at least, press the pen onto the tablet.
The two buttons on the pen, which can serve a variety of functions, can be used for things like controlling brush size. They initially get in the way when holding the pen, but you soon learn to rotate the pen to your liking.
This way of working with a pen and tablet makes the most sense with tools like the brush, pen, dodging and burning tools. The tools where you may draw and need to build up an effect slowly. If you start using the tablet for more regular tasks such as moving the sliders in Lightroom or general computer tasks, then a mouse still feels the most straightforward way of working. But this is from someone who hasn’t use a tablet day in and day out for years. There are plenty of designers out there who are more than happy to use a tablet and pen for all computer movements.
How Does the Wacom Intuos Pro Compare?
Since the advent of the tablet and pen, quite a few manufacturers have gotten the same idea. Everything from a small A5-sized tablet to a full-sized unit. Examples like the Huion 610 Pro has lots of features similar to the Wacom Intuos Pro, with also some added benefits like a built-in MicroSD card reader. If you want to draw directly onto a screen and the Wacom Cintiq costs too much, then the XP-Pen Artist 16 could be a choice from $500. A 15.6-inch 1080p IPS monitor is a usable area with the same functionality as a tablet.
If you already own something like an iPad Pro tablet, you can install the Astropad app which can turn your iPad into a quick Wacom Cintiq. In other words, if a Wacom is out of your reach, then there are alternative solutions on the market.
|Wacom Intuos Pro||Huion Inspiroy WH1409 V2|
|Battery free pen||Yes||Yes|
Forgetting about the price point, the Wacom Intuos Pro is the number one choice for daily drawing and editing tasks on a computer. It provides an intuitive way of working, which after a little practice just makes sense. There’s plenty of functionality, and it’s built sturdy enough to last years. It also works equally well on a PC or Mac.
Wacoms aren’t the cheapest tablets on the market, and competitors offer similar functionality for a cheaper price. There are differences, though, such as some have battery powered pens, may not feature Bluetooth, or just simply don’t feel as great or sturdy as a Wacom tablet.
If you want the best in drawing tablets, then you simply can’t go wrong with the Wacom Intuos Pro.